Perhaps you’ve noticed Justin Thomas’ recent swing change—or should we say “pre-swing” change. Just before he starts back, he swings the clubhead to hip high, sort of a big waggle, then stops and looks back at it before returning to the ball and swinging. What’s he looking at?
Thomas recently explained to Golf Digest that he’s checking to make sure the clubface is rotating upward, not pointing to the ground, which would be closed. He says a closed face at that point in his actual swing causes him to get the club “across the line” at the top, or pointing to the right of the target. From there, he tends to drop the club too far to the inside on the downswing, making it difficult to hit a fade—his preferred ball flight.
Thomas says the purpose of stopping and feeling this position is to boost his chances of swinging through it on the backswing. Call it a preview, a mock takeaway. Mike Thomas, Justin’s father and coach, says they also use the preview to check that the shaft is parallel to his stance line at that point. If the shaft hits this spot in the backswing with the clubface turning up, Justin nails his position at the top, which puts him on automatic through the ball.
To see this move in action, and hear Justin and his dad explain it in greater detail, check out the latest edition of Golf Digest School’s “Undercover Lessons,” a new series that features mic’d-up tour pros talking through extended range sessions. See how Justin takes his waggle concept a step further when he practices (Hint: He starts his swing nowhere near the ball.) Justin’s three wins so far this season are strong support for getting your swing on track from the get-go.